U.S. House Panel Blasts Intel Agencies for Failure to Detect Boston Terror Plot

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
March 27, 2014, 9:16 a.m.

A con­gres­sion­al com­mit­tee on Wed­nes­day cri­ti­cized U.S. fed­er­al agen­cies for fail­ing to de­tect and pre­vent last spring’s at­tack on the Bo­ston Mara­thon.

A House Home­land Se­cur­ity Com­mit­tee re­port cri­ti­cized the Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion of­fice, the FBI and oth­er U.S. en­tit­ies for their fail­ure to ad­equately ex­change in­form­a­tion on Tam­er­lan Tsarnaev — one of the two men al­leged to have con­cocted and car­ried out the bomb­ing at­tack last April, the Bo­ston Globe re­por­ted. Tsarnaev, who was killed in a shootout with po­lice sev­er­al days after the bomb­ing, was ini­tially in­vest­ig­ated by the FBI in 2011.

His young­er broth­er, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is sched­uled to go on tri­al in Novem­ber for his al­leged par­ti­cip­a­tion in the ter­ror­ist at­tack, which killed sev­er­al people and in­jured more than 250.

“The com­mit­tee is … con­cerned that of­fi­cials are as­sert­ing that this at­tack could not have been pre­ven­ted, without com­pel­ling evid­ence to con­firm that is the case,” states the 37-page House com­mit­tee re­port.

Pan­el staff lay out in the doc­u­ment how Cus­toms of­fi­cials dropped the ball when they had a chance to take in the eld­er broth­er for ques­tion­ing at JFK Air­port in New York, fol­low­ing warn­ings raised when he bought tick­ets to fly to and from Rus­sia in 2012.

“There were op­por­tun­it­ies in which great­er shar­ing of in­form­a­tion might have altered the course of events,” the re­port reads. “Such fail­ures should not be al­lowed to per­sist.”

FBI spokes­man Paul Bresson said the bur­eau had already moved to im­ple­ment some of the re­port’s sug­ges­tions. A spokes­man for the Home­land Se­cur­ity De­part­ment, which in­cludes the Cus­toms of­fice, said the de­part­ment had ac­ted sim­il­arly in pur­su­ing “steps to identi­fy and ad­dress co­ordin­a­tion is­sues raised as a res­ult of the in­vest­ig­a­tion.”

The House re­port is the first of a num­ber of form­al gov­ern­ment as­sess­ments of the Bo­ston bomb­ing that are slated to be pub­lished over the next sev­er­al months.

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